In this episode, I speak with Jeremy Jenson, CEO of Encore Search Partners, a Recruiting firm.  He talks about what to do if you are an executive who has been affected by Coronavirus.


Adam:
Alright, well, I’m so excited. This is the franchise consultant podcast. So excited today to talk to Jeremy Jensen, a good friend and someone that is the CEO of encore search partners. Thank you so much for joining the show today.

Jeremy:
Excellent. Thank you for having me, Adam.

Adam:
So the reason why I wanted to have you on besides being a huge LinkedIn presence and someone that I admire in business, is I want to get a sense from you about what your thought was about what’s going on in the marketplace right now for people that are either furloughed or worried about being laid off. And what do you see out there?

Jeremy:
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I’ve got an interesting take on, you know, everything that’s going on right now. You know, as you mentioned, I’m the owner of encore search partners. We are a headhunting firm, right. And so, companies turn to us whenever they’ve got open jobs that they’re having trouble filling. And so we like very, very low unemployment. And unfortunately, that’s, that’s not what we’re experiencing right now in the market. I think. I recently heard that it’s quickly approaching about 20 million Americans that want to be employed are unemployed right now. So, you know a big bulk of that is going to be the retail and hospitality sectors, because, you know, government mandates around those individuals and those facilities not being able to be open right now. But what we’re seeing because America has kind of been shut down for four weeks, that even large energy industrial manufacturing companies are starting to lay people off now as well. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s certainly not a very
great time to be in the recruitment space, but I’ll be happy to answer any questions or provide any insight specifically if there’s anything that you want me to reference right now.

Adam:
So I guess my question is, you deal a lot with people that are job seekers. And if you can just comment a little bit about what you’re seeing right now. in the marketplace, and any advice if any of you might have for people that are kind of in a space where they were used to making a good salary, and now they’re just kind of not in that situation anymore.

Jeremy:
Yeah, absolutely. So. So what I would like to do is just to kind of shed some insight into what we saw here in Texas, back in 2014,15, and 16. Because, you know, I think that was somewhat of a leading indicator of what we might be able to expect, here in 2020 and 2021. But yeah, you’re right. You know, individuals come to us, at least people in our industry, whenever they’re looking to move to another organization, and unfortunately, you know, what we’re experiencing right now with sub $20 oil, coupled with Coronavirus, coupled with an election year you know, companies don’t have an appetite to carry overhead. You know, obviously, with the volatility in the stock market as well, that’s hurting their shareholders. And their shareholders want to see a return on their investment and see profitable organizations. Right. And so what we’re seeing specifically here in Texas is mass layoffs, individuals, you know, looking for job opportunities. And the simple fact is, is if your company is laying off right now, there’s a high probability that companies like yours across the street are going to be laying off as well. So you know, my advice to those folks that are getting severance packages and getting laid off is you guys need to be prepared for at least 12 months before things normalize and the simple truth And the hard truth rather, is that the individuals with 20 plus years of experience that have put in kind of those loyal years and that sweat equity with these companies, they need to realize that that they’re probably getting paid 20 to 30% more than their counterparts that are willing to do these jobs, you know, with with with five years of experience or seven years of experience, right. And so, what’s going to happen is, you know, these individuals that are getting laid off right now, hopefully, they’re being financially taken care of by their employers, right when we talk about a severance package, or somewhat of a, you know, a golden umbrella as it relates to their benefits and things of that nature, the golden parachute rather. But when those companies start hiring back in my experience back in 2015, and 2016 it’s the earlier career people That have more of a maybe a 15 or 20 or 30-year trajectory in their career left, that companies are going to be motivated to bring on first, again, because they’re at the lower compensation level. And then they feel like they’ve got more of a runway as it relates to longevity in their career remaining. And for whatever reason, I think there’s a stigma related to employers thinking that earlier career talent is going to be a little bit more technology-savvy, and can work remotely and things of that nature. So if you’re a 2025 30 year veteran that’s getting laid off. Again, I think there’s going to be at least a 12-month lag before employers start to take a close look at bringing you on board. Does that make sense?

Adam:
It does. It does. And I mean, any advice for these people, these veterans, they’re at home and they want to stay relevant and it might be 12 years. Before they would be able to get on board and they might even, unfortunately, have to accept a lower salary than they were used to before what, what can they do to keep themselves relevant and active? And just kind of prepare?

Jeremy:
That’s a great question.
And I can kind of, you know, share, you know, my experience. So, early in my career, whenever I was I wasn’t let go, but I parted ways from my employer. You know, and as I was, you know, evaluating things to do, you know, the biggest thing that I bet on was myself, right. And so I started my first company at 25 years old. Now, I’m 36 on the second company, and fortunately, we’ve had a lot of success because of implementing processes and systems and accountability. But you know, what, I would encourage these folks that may have, you know, half a million dollars in their pocket. 1K or maybe even accessing that, and have you know, somewhat an of a runway, if maybe they’re unemployed for six months, a year, 18 months, I would encourage those folks to invest in themselves. And that can be done in a variety of different ways. You know, it could be done in
maybe educating yourself in really high demand industry. So maybe like, you know, cybersecurity, or as we’ve all seen, you know, over the last few months, there’s been a massive need for people in the medical profession, right. But, you know, that’s one way to invest in yourself is to get an education in, in an industry that we’ve deemed as very, very essential, right. Or the second option is to invest in yourself by starting a business. I was a young entrepreneur that experience some early success and has created a lot of financial freedom for myself. And again, you know, it wasn’t until we implemented those processes and systems and accountability to where, you know, I was allowed to work far fewer hours because we systematize the business, right. And so I think that’s what I would advise people that may have somewhat of a nest egg before you burn through that over the next 12 months. And you’re maybe left with a with much, much fewer options, and then you’re making decisions out of desperation. I would encourage you guys to look at either starting a business or getting educated in a field where there even is massive demand. Right? I hope hopefully that helps.

Adam:
That’s great. That’s great advice, Jeremy. I appreciate that. And I think the listeners appreciate that as well. How are you able besides the system, we know that you’re a very very driven guy. I’m seeing right here that in six years, you’ve grown to be the second-largest privately held executive search firm in Houston. Besides systems and processes, there must have been some grit involved as well. Correct?

Jeremy:
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think the grit was required in the early years because you’re creating a brand that nobody knows about. And so there certainly was some hustle related to making the cold calls and going to the networking events and educating people on what it is that you did. You know, now it’s become so systematized to where if I know if I put $1 in, I’ll get $2 out within six months, right. And so that’s what incentivizes us to hire producers and streamline our training and recruitment efforts and things of that nature. You know, to where you know, even your business, I know Adam to eliminate those first three or four years where we had to go and educate people on what it is that we did. You know, and it might make sense to take a look at, you know, starting a franchise where there already was somewhat of a known commodity, right. And so, you know, what I would encourage your listeners to do would be looking at those industries that are still operating right now. Right. And so whether it could be I don’t know this is much more up your alley, right? But businesses related to healthcare, or other industries that are still operating and are experiencing increased profits in the face of a pandemic. And so I think it might be wise even for myself, to diversify our revenue stream to take a look
at faster Back in those marketing years, to where maybe we step into a brand that’s somewhat of a known commodity, we can get off the ground much, much quicker. So hopefully that long a laboratory answer made sense.

Adam:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I just want to go back and get some color to what you said earlier about the kind of situation people are facing right now. I like your story you told me about someone a couple of years ago that was forced to potentially accept a lower salary and I also liked your posts recently in about a lawyer. You can just elaborate on that about the one that was at called and asked to make money.

Jeremy:
yeah. So So, you know, what we predominantly do is we focus on recruiting people that makeover 150,000 a year on their base salary. And so that that leads us to certain industries like recruiting attorneys and Wealth Advisors and high-level executives and technical engineers, but, man, I was really surprised I get a phone call last Thursday from an attorney in Chicago who we have been drip marketing on for quite some time. And she just replied to an email asked for a phone call. I think the phone call was about 745 in the morning, and she was livid. Apparently what had happened was her law firm was experiencing some financial troubles right, I would imagine that a lot of their clients were not paying their bills and, or they were potentially even going out of business. And so, um, and then they certainly didn’t need, you know, corporate transactions and things of that nature. And so, to weather the storm, this law firm, decided not to do a layoff, but rather cut the salaries of all their people cut them in half now. I think if they will have had that conversation with people face to face, it probably would have come over, okay. But unfortunately, they didn’t inform anybody. Whenever it came time for this attorney to get her direct deposit that Thursday, just half of it deposited in so I can imagine HR or the managing partners were fielding a ton of replies from their employees. And so she called me livid. You know, this is an individual who is accustomed to a $500,000 salary, going down to 250. You know, I’d be willing to bet she could still pay her bills. But this was a time where this firm pissed her off so bad. She was willing to call a headhunter to confidently confidentially explore options with other firms. And so I think a lot of companies are going to lose good talent right now. Good, profitable talent, just because they’re mismanaging this entire COVID situation.

Adam:
Talk to me a little bit about your company’s culture. Because it sounds like you’ve won awards for the top, one of the top companies in Houston area, what separates you from a cultural perspective? And what can potential entrepreneurs learn about that culture?

Jeremy:
Yeah, absolutely. So I think it’s pretty tough to define the word culture, you know, the way that I would define it, is, it’s our core values. And so when you say what is our culture, what I can say is, is we’re all 100% on the same page because we eat sleep and breathe our core values before people leave an interview with us during the interview during training, and then obviously, we, we coach and in sometimes even terminate to the core values. And so when someone says, What is your culture? I guess the way that I would respond with that is I’ll just list off the six core values and so the number one related to our firm in particular, again, In, you know, the culture for us and the culture for Exxon or the culture from Microsoft could be very, very different doesn’t mean one’s right. It doesn’t mean that one’s wrong. It’s just, this is the culture. So you know, everybody’s on the same page. And, you know, everybody knew exactly what they were getting into whenever they accepted the offer, right? But our six core values is six words. Number one is excellence. Number two is responsiveness. Number three is gratitude. Four is coachability. Five is meticulousness. And number six is competitiveness. And so that’s what defines our culture. And I think the reason why we win the awards and do get that recognition is number one, we apply for it. But number two,
it’s because everybody’s on the same page. You know, there’s no bad apple that’s, that’s messing with the direction that everybody is essentially rowing that boat. And so when everyone’s on the same page, it becomes a very profitable and fun place to work. Does that make sense?

Adam:
It does. It does. And thank you for sharing that. And look, I mean, I think that out of all the people I know, you’re probably one of the people that’s most savvy at marketing. And so I guess my question for you is I have a lot of people that are listening to this that are potentially thinking about investing in a business and ever did lead generation so important, doesn’t matter if you’re in the business of home service or in recruiting. What kind of advice do you have for someone that’s looking to start a business and they’re looking to market their business? No one knows who they are.

Jeremy:
Yeah, so. So first off, I’ll tell you to start a business where there is massive demand already. Okay, that’s the biggest piece of advice that I can give you today. So don’t start a business because you love it. Or you’re great at it. If nobody wants to buy if they’re not ready. in their hand, saying, Man, I will need this service right now. Don’t even think about it. Right. And I think that’s a common misconception of why people should start businesses. Okay. And I’ll give you an example. Last year, we built about $4 million in revenue by recruiting, recruiting for oil and gas companies. Okay. It was a very profitable component of our business. Well, guess what, I completely shut that part of our business down. Because it wasn’t a good business to be in over the last 30 days. I took all of those recruiters and now they’re calling Wealth Advisors, experienced financial advisors. And so that is what I’ve deemed as there’s still a massive demand for these people. I’m not going to continue to throw good money at bad money just because it was something that we’ve always done if that makes sense, right? Yeah. So I would say that it becomes very, very easy to spend marketing dollars on a business when whenever your conversion rate is extremely high. Okay, and so you know, whenever we look at what businesses to be in right now I’ll tell you my friends that have medical testing companies or contract staffing for nurses or sanitation businesses, or cleaning businesses, these guys are making money hand over fist right now. And so these are the types of businesses that I would consider starting today if that makes sense. I know with my network and I know with my appetite to spend marketing dollars through social media or pay per click advertising or impression marketing on search engines. I know that if I start a business in an environment where there is demand, I’m going to be successful, not because of me, but because of the thought and evaluation. It goes through the discovery process of what that business should be.

Adam:
Well, Jeremy, this is great information, both about you and your business and anything that people are dealing with that are dealing with this crisis in general. I always like to have my guests to tell the audience how people can get ahold of you if they want to get ahold of you and what that contact information is. Could you please share that with them?

Jeremy:
Yeah, absolutely. So the best way to get ahold of me is always on LinkedIn. My name is Jeremy Jensen, that’s je n s o n. I’m the CEO and founder of encore search partners. And I have a cool rule of thumb that I make sure that all of my employees abide by as well. But anybody that sends me a message, they 100% of the time get a reply. It could be good, bad, or indifferent, but you’re going to get a reply. And so I would say that if you want to reach out if you have any questions if you want any insights always best to direct message me on LinkedIn and be happy to help you from there. Jeremy Jensen.

Adam:
Thank you so much, Jeremy, great chatting with you as always. Thank you.

Jeremy
Perfect. Thanks, Adam. Wish you guys the most success

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